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8 jihadists killed in Ivorian-Burkinabe operation

Eight suspected jihadists were killed and another 38 captured in a joint operation by Burkinabe and Ivorian forces near the two countries’ shared border, the Ivory Coast army said Sunday.

The captured men — 24 in Burkina Faso and 14 in Ivory Coast — were handed over to intelligence services, a source at Ivorian army headquarters told AFP, adding that a “terrorist base” was destroyed at Alidougou in Burkina Faso.

The joint operation also seized arms, ammunition, USB keys and cell phones, the source said.

Operation “Comoe”, named after a river that flows through the two countries, was launched in early May, the source said, praising the “perfect coordination between the two armies”.

The fighting took place near the northeastern Ivorian city of Ferkessedougou and Banfora¬†in southwestern Burkina Faso — although a Burkinabe security source had said Saturday that the entire operation was carried out in Ivory Coast.

The Ivorian army source said Sunday that “no terrorist base exists on Ivorian territory which may have served as a zone of refuge during previous offensives” by the Burkinabe army.

A Burkina Faso military source told AFP that a Burkinabe soldier was wounded and hospitalised in Korhogo, in northern Ivory Coast.

The presence of Islamist fighters to the north of Ivory Coast’s Comoe national park was detected more than a year ago.

Security sources say they are jihadists operating in Burkina Faso who shelter in Ivory Coast.

Jihadist violence in Burkina Faso has claimed nearly 900 lives since 2015. 

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